If you’re not quite locked in to the straitjacket of school holiday schedules, why not head to Southern Europe and bask in the late summer sun? The crowds will have vanished, and the prices will be sweet. Here’s 6 great places for tots and toddlers
The one-stop hotel in Cyprus
If you’re looking for a great family getaway without all the fuss, consider flying to Paphos and stay at the seafront boutique hotel Almyra, just 20mins from the airport. Their ‘Baby Go Lightly’ service means you can pack less, they have a toddler pool and a large kids pool with a gently sloping gradient (both heated), plus there’s an excellent all-ages kids club. You can also hire a babysitter if you fancy a night out in Paphos. This hotel is a real crowd-pleaser.
Sun: 29c / 11hrs
Price: from £209
The all-inclusive hideaway in France
Large all-inclusive resorts can be exhausting, but the classy Imagine Roussillon is a heavenly place for young families. Located near safe and sandy beaches, these 4 self-catering apartments come with a toy box, family bikes, and buckets & spades. There’s free babysitting twice a week, two free adult dinners, free fitness classes, pilates & massages, free daily kids club (closed Saturday) plus a playground and games room. You’ll adore the gated garden and the shaded pool (plus a splash pool), and there’s no transport issues — Perpignan airport is just 20-mins away. Better yet, Languedoc enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year.
Sun: 26c / 8hrs
Price: from £303
The hillside retreat in Spain
Perched on the mountains above the Costa Blanca, the uber-friendly Caserio del Mirador comes with a large pool, a poolside honesty bar, a play park, a menagerie (with Shetland ponies!) and a trampoline and sandpit. Stay in one of 5 family apartments in the main villa, a Casita in the grounds, or glamp it up in an Airstream: all have space for an additional kiddies and simple kitchens (breakfast is included; other meals on request). Your charming hosts will anticipate your every need, and rarely fail to deliver.
Sun: 28c / 9hrs
Price: from £124
The glam villa in Greece
Cascading down a hillside for maximum privacy and space, the exclusive Eagles Villas on Greece’s Halkidiki peninsula is perfect for a pampered getaway. You can have meals delivered, eat at a choice of restaurants or whip up easy meals in your kitchenette. Each immaculate villa has a soothing seaside aesthetic, and all have heated plunge pools. Nearby sister property Eagles Palace has a great kids club, which means you can enjoy the cocktail bar and or bliss-out in the infinity pool.
Sun: 27c / 9hrs
Price: from £506
The party vibe hotel in Italy
Villa Pia is a relaxing yet fun hotel that’s great value for money. Set amid five acres of greenery in the delightful Umbrian countryside, its carefree communal formula is so successful that families return year after year. All meals and drinks are included. There’s a kids’ tea at 6pm and adult-only dinners thereafter, which means parents can hang-out together. A warm pool, soft play, sandpits, dress-up costumes, trampolines and tennis are just some of many kid-friendly attractions — plus trikes and scooters, of course.
Sun: 25c / 10hrs
Price: from £162
The back-to-nature bolthole in Portugal
Just inland from Portugal’s wonderfully wild west coast and glorious beaches is this colourful eco-guesthouse, surrounded by cork and eucalyptus forest. Muxima is a serene retreat of rustic-chic interiors, extensive grounds with a swimming pool (which comes with lily pads and frogs) and plenty of play areas. A large buffet breakfast is included, and you can self-cater in the suites (there are eateries nearby). Parents will love the countryside setting and the easy drive to the beaches. Kids will love the climbing frames, the Wendy house and especially the tree swings!